To Our Community,
Last night at the Co-op Board of Directors meeting, I presented a brief overview of the Co-op’s operations for the month ending August 2021. Below are the highlights.
Overall, August’s activity remained relatively robust but do reflect summer vacations and the closing of our White River Junction store for 2 days.
The graphs below reflect data for sales, customer count, basket size, average price for gas and gallons pumped for the years 2019 through August 2021.
Grocery, Meat, Produce, Dairy, and Frozen Foods continue to provide strong sales growth. However, sales for the 8 months ending August are slightly higher than the same period last year ($52.0 million versus $51.8 million). On a year-to-date basis sales continue to exceed budget.
Customer visits for August are up over last year but remain lower than 2019’s figures. Average basket size has declined slightly through 2021, albeit leveling off over the past several months, and remains below 2020 levels and ahead of 2019 levels.
Gas prices began the year at approximately $2.26 per gallon. At the end of August, the average price is approximately $3.15 or $0.89 more per gallon. Our average price is approximately $0.91 per gallon more than August last year. For the month of August, we have pumped 4,847 more gallons than the same period last year. Sales of our non-gas business was ahead of budget for the month and year to date.
Other Items of Interest
Earlier this month, the leadership team announced a new minimum wage, the first stage of a comprehensive multiphase approach to modifying our compensation plan. All the details are available on the Co-op blog.
Net-Zero Emissions by 2030
Also earlier this month, the board announced an ambitious effort to move from individual programs to a holistic strategy aimed at reducing emissions to net-zero in the next nine years. By setting this Zero-by-30 goal, the Co-op’s concern for the environment becomes a board and business priority with data-driven milestones and a clear goal line. More details are on the Co-op blog.
As you know by now, over one week ago, the federal government ordered the US Department of Labor, by way of OSHA, to put sweeping new mandates in place in the hopes of curbing the surging COVID-19 delta variant. Soon, employers with more than 100 workers will have a tough decision to make—either require all employees to be vaccinated or implement weekly testing for the unvaccinated.
The good news is that even without a mandate, our employees have made huge steps in bringing up our vaccination rate—from 70 percent to 81 percent in just a few weeks. And we have time to bring it up even more.
We are keeping an eye on the timeline for implementing the new federal mandates. In the meantime, we are using that time to gather additional information, analyze options for rewarding employees for being vaccinated and to incentivize employees to become vaccinated, and bring in medical experts to talk with concerned employees all before we make decisions about our next steps.
Thank you to all of our members and shoppers for your support. We will talk again next Thursday. In the meantime, be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.
Onward and upward,